Weekly News Summary: February 15

February 15, 2013

Coffee by Flikr user samrevel

The Mexico Institute’s “Weekly News Summary,” released every Friday afternoon, summarizes the week’s most prominent Mexico headlines published in the English-language press, as well as the most engaging opinion pieces by Mexican columnists.

What the English-language press had to say…

This week, the Peña Nieto administration unveiled its new strategy to combat organized crime, promising the creation of a 10,000-strong gendarmerie by year’s end, as well as $9.2 billion for social programs aimed at the country’s most violent towns and neighborhoods.  Mexico’s booming auto industry surpassed tourism and oil exports to become the nation’s main source of foreign exchange. The government’s efforts to transform the Mexican narrative of violence into one of prosperity and social development, however, continued to suffer setbacks following the rape of six Spanish tourists in Acapulco last week. Auto defensa vigilante groups in the state of Guerrero continued to hold over forty people accused of several crimes hostage. North of the border, talk of comprehensive immigration reform continued, with critics warning against conditioning reform efforts on the poorly defined notion of securing the border, which Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano added, has “never been stronger.”

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Rapes of tourists are latest blow to Mexico tourism

February 7, 2013

ocean waves and beachThe Los Angeles Times, 2/6/2013

Despite past assurances that tourists are safe in their country, Mexican tourism officials are again faced with trying to explain away another report of crime against foreign visitors. The latest incident took place in the resort town of Acapulco, where six Spanish tourists on vacation were raped Sunday by masked gunmen.

Crime tied to drug violence has reduced the number of tourists from the U.S. to Mexico in recent years but Mexican tourism officials have responded by targeting travelers from countries such as Russia, Brazil, Peru and Colombia. Despite the violence, Mexico predicts it will host 24.7 million foreign visitors in 2012, surpassing last year’s record of 23.4 million. But the latest crime report will only make it harder for Mexico to shrug off the incidents of crime in tourist towns as isolated and rare, experts say.

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